Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the performance cycle, part of Performance Review Foundations.
The employee review is one part of the larger performance cycle. The performance cycle is a loop that begins with strategic level evaluation of performance relative to established goals. When new goals are formed for the next performance period they cascade downward. That is, they're broken down into smaller goals at successively lower levels of the organization.
This allows each level of the hierarchy to know what they must accomplish to help the overall organization succeed. For any given manager the process begins with their own evaluation delivered by their superior. Once they know how their performance is viewed and what's expected from their team or department they can begin to look at their employees. They'll set and publish a schedule for the completion of employee evaluations. Collect lots of data, write the reviews, conduct the evaluation discussions, hold people accountable in appropriate ways, and then follow up throughout the performance period to provide feedback and motivation.
The whole process is important, but possibly the single area that troubles organizations the most is how to conduct performance reviews effectively. To be honest, performance reviews are sometimes the most feared and despised aspects of the modern workplace. Almost all companies use them. The problem is that we don't administer them well, and as a result, most employees don't enjoy them. They're supposed to help, but very often they hurt. Even if every evaluation were delivered perfectly, employees still won't necessarily like them since we're not wired to enjoy being evaluated.
Here's the good news, the employee evaluation doesn't have to be a stress-filled process that feels more like a burden than an asset. When you know how to prepare for and deliver a good employee evaluation your employees will experience many benefits. These include, clarity about how their performance is being viewed This understanding provides the foundation for improvement moving forward. Next is focus, in terms of how to improve their performance on a behavioral level. What it is they have to do to move to the next level? This includes interpersonal issues, the need to be proactive, the need to seek feedback, and other behaviors that support goal attainment.
In addition, you have the opportunity to provide new focus by revising goals appropriately. This might include no longer using certain goals, continuing or changing other goals, and developing appropriate new goals based on their abilities and aspirations. Beyond goals, you can also use this time to define and talk about different developmental activities. These include things such as tasks that can be delegated, new projects or committees, or various types of training. Sometimes these are used to shore up areas for improvement, while other times they're used to stretch and grow stronger performers at an accelerated pace.
The evaluation is of course also a great time to clearly provide well-earned congratulations. Think of all the wins the person achieved over the performance period, at the individual and the team level. Delivered honestly, this can be a serious source of motivation. Finally, the evaluation discussion allows you a chance to really listen while the employee gives input. That includes comments on how they think they performed, their thoughts about how they can improve and develop, and other thoughts they might wish to discuss concerning the team. It's true that a minority of organizations resist using evaluations because of the overhead burden they present, because they believe the data they collected is suspect, and because they know employees don't like the process.
However, the better choice is to see the value of a thoughtful and well-executed review process. Once, or maybe twice, each year, a quality review can serve to add clarity, to refocus, and to re-energize your employees. The rest of the course will tell you how to make that happen.
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The information contained in the following course is provided with the viewer's understanding that the course should not be used as a substitute for consulting a human resource professional at your company for specific guidance. Lynda.com and LinkedIn expressly disclaim liability for any damages, loss, or risk, incurred as a direct or indirect consequence, from the use and application of any content herein.
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- Understanding the performance cycle
- Setting performance goals
- Collecting performance data and feedback
- Writing the review
- Discussing performance with an employee
- Using a performance improvement plan (PIP)<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.